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Hydro-Quebec and FortisBC among Canada’s 2012 Energy Star Market Transformation Award winners


June 6, 2012
By Anthony Capkun

June 5, 2012 – David Anderson, parliamentary secretary to Joe Oliver, minister of natural resources, announced the winners of the 2012 Energy Star Market Transformation Awards. This year, 12 organizations in 13 categories were recognized for their excellence in advancing the Energy Star brand in Canada and, among them, FortisBC and Hydro-Quebec. Congratulations!

Hydro-Quebec (Utility of the Year, Provincial)
Hydro-Quebec works with a network of partners to drive market transformation. In 2011, the utility recorded a 28% increase in the number of retail and manufacturing partners, a 26% increase in retail outlets involved in the utility’s Energy Star programs and a 165% increase in manufacturing partners from the doors and windows sector.

Last year, the utility shifted its focus from creating general awareness of Energy Star-qualified products toward taking more targeted actions designed to stimulate consumer interest in specific product features or characteristics. Four categories of Energy Star qualified products received particular attention in 2011. Hydro-Quebec continued to offer rebates for the purchase of Energy Star-qualified light bulbs and luminaires.

Its commitment to Energy Star and energy efficiency, successful partnerships and superior promotional campaigns has contributed to Hydro-Quebec’s 5th Utility of the Year (Provincial) award.

FortisBC Inc. (Utility of the Year, Regional)
Through its PowerSense programs, the utility helps customers conserve energy and save money by providing financial incentives, information and advice on energy efficiency and Energy Star-qualified products, including appliances, lighting, windows and doors, and consumer electronics. FortisBC has earned this year’s award as Energy Star Utility of the Year (Regional).

The PowerSense Laundry Campaign in 2011 used a community-based social marketing approach to encourage its customers to use laundry lines rather than clothes dryers, and to select Energy Star-qualified clothes washers. The utility distributed 10,000 free laundry lines to customers throughout its service area at 51 events in 32 communities from June to August. FortisBC customers purchased 918 Tier 3 Energy Star-qualified washers during the program: an increase of almost 300% over the same period in 2010. Recently, rebates have also been introduced for Energy Star-qualified dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers.

In the fall of 2011, FortisBC collaborated with a number of retail chains in southern B.C. to implement a rebate program for Energy Star-qualified light bulbs. In November 2011, the utility held a light bulb and holiday light exchange as part of the Rossland Energy Diet.

This is FortisBC’s first Energy Star Recognition Award.

Hydro-Quebec (Promotional Campaign)
Hydro-Quebec’s effort to transform the residential lighting market took a new direction in 2011 with the launch of an innovative marketing campaign that has enabled the utility to claim its fourth award for Energy Star Promotional Campaign of the Year.

Hydro-Quebec changed its approach in 2011 by promoting other characteristics and benefits of qualified CFLs and luminaires. Under the tagline “A CFL for every atmosphere”, CFLs were promoted as a good lighting option for all rooms in the house. Separate campaigns were launched in both the spring and fall of 2011, featuring in-store events, print advertisements and headlines, and big box ads on selected websites.

Hydro-Quebec also joined forces with three major retail partners to deliver an in-store promotional event designed to increase both store traffic and sales of energy-efficient lights.

Half of the Quebec residents exposed to the 2011 lighting campaign later indicated that they had purchased an Energy Star-qualified CFL in the past six months, and almost 90% said they planned to purchase one. Hydro-Quebec has now won 11 Energy Star Recognition Awards in four separate categories.

Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. (Collaborative Initiative of the Year)
Samsung Electronics joined forces with BC Hydro Power Smart in 2011 to deliver an aggressive, month-long rebate program that led to a dramatic jump in sales of Samsung appliances. As a result, Samsung is collecting its first Energy Star award.

October is ‘Power Smart Month’ in B.C.—an annual campaign in which the provincial utility (itself a winner of several Energy Star awards) engages retailers and manufacturers in promoting special offers on energy-efficient appliances, lighting and home electronics. Samsung took advantage of the campaign’s visibility and consumer recognition by offering to match BC Hydro’s mail-in rebates when a Samsung Energy Star-qualified appliance was purchased.

The promotion enabled consumers to claim rebates from BC Hydro and Samsung totalling $150 for Energy Star-qualified Samsung clothes washers, $100 for refrigerators and $50 for dishwashers purchased during October from appliance retailers anywhere in the province.

According to BC Hydro, the promotion resulted in annual energy savings of more than 175,000 kWh for the utility’s residential customers.